March 30, 2014
Don Lucia, Minnesota Head Coach
“I’m just really proud of this team. We got beat a week ago Friday and they came to the rink really ready to work on Saturday and prepare for the games this weekend. I think they all knew what was at stake and I thought we had a terrific week of practice. Our captains really led the charge with that. The focus this weekend was tremendous and on the bench, I don’t know if I’ve seen it this focused and communicated and dialed in as we were for the game tonight. Again, that is a credit to our captains and right on down. It was obvious that it was very, very important for us to play well this weekend and I’m really happy for our guys. Going to the Frozen Four never gets old. It is a thrill. I’ve been to a handful now but for the guys that haven’t been there before to go through the heartache that we did last year with losing in overtime to be able to come back this year and get back to Philadelphia is a real credit to our group of guys. I thought that all of our lines did a great job tonight. We don’t really match up line for line that often but for the most part we did today and I thought that every line really did a good job and guys were even changing on their own tonight. So it’s just a real credit to our team and Adam gave us his usual strong performance. You just have to enjoy moments like this when you’re a coach.”
Justin Kloos, student-athlete
On his first goal and the momentum it created…
“The first goal was a good play by [Nate] Condon to get it off the wall and get it to the ‘D’ and then a scrum in front and I was able to pick up a loose puck and throw at the net. I think that we got some good momentum right away with our first shift getting in deep and then we just kept going. There was no doubt in our minds that we were going to be able to keep the momentum after that first one in.”
On the success of the freshman and their contributions to the team…
“You can ask all seven of us, we are blessed with a group in front of us with upperclassmen that are great leaders. Coach already mentioned today how well our captains were able to lead us and I think that we have been able to feed off of them all year and we are just happy that we have been able to step in and help the team win.”
Adam Wilcox, student-athlete
On the guys in front of him and keeping St. Cloud off the score sheet…
“The team was unbelievable tonight from our defense to our forwards and we made sure that they didn’t give them anything. Throughout the whole game we were coming in every period and just saying that they didn’t get much that period. And our guys were selling out blocking shots, our defense had multiple shots and [Jake] Parenteau almost took one to the face at the end of the game when we were up four goal. That just shows the type of team we have. I know the older guys want it. They made it to the Frozen Four a couple years ago and it didn’t turn out the way they wanted it to, so they are going to do it right this time and give it everything they’ve got. And our team just played lights out this whole weekend. The first game the team played great defensively and I had to work on my rebounds a little bit and I thought I did that tonight. It was an overall effort from everyone.”
ST. CLOUD STATE
Bob Motzko, St. Cloud State Head Coach
“This was not a fun conversation in our locker room when a coach has to address a bunch of guys he truly believes in and believes we should still be playing and you still want to be with them and it comes to an end; it’s very difficult. I’m sitting next to two just fabulous captains and what they’ve given to this program is unbelievable. They’ve made this program better, and they’ve made their university better by their decisions to stick with us and finish their eligibility. There’s a great story in there and I hope it’s told and I know a lot of it’s been told about (Nic) Dowd and I’m so proud of these guys and it was not a good night for us. We ran out of a little steam but you have to tip your hat to the University of Minnesota. They played an excellent game, they shut a lot of things down, we never got a power play and it was a difficult night for us to get anything going. We did in spurts, we had a couple of chances early in the game and missed the net and maybe we were looking for something to give us some life. We got a couple chances in the third period, then we took the penalty and then that was it. You really do have to tip your hat to Minnesota. They played an outstanding game tonight to advance to the Frozen Four.”
Kevin Gravel, student-athlete
On the Gopher offense….
“They’re a high-powered team. They skate really well and it made it difficult on our D-Men all night. They got the puck deep and finished their checks and just kind of wore us down a little bit. They have skill where if they get a chance they can make a play and they did that a few times tonight. You’ve got to give them credit, they came to play tonight and they took it to us at times. But it’s tough right now. Their forwards are a good group and they’re tough to handle and they proved that here tonight.”
Nic Dowd, student-athlete
On what makes the Gopher defense so tough…
“They did a good job of splitting D-to-D and I think the delayed our forecheck quite a bit in the beginning. I think we made it pretty easy for them to play and get pucks out. They’re obviously a good skating group and what’s tough to handle is that not only did they play good defense but they’re also great on offense.”
Lettieri Named B1G Second Star
Lettieri has played in all 20 games this season for the Gophers while ranking tied for second on the team with 11 goals and third on the team with 20 points.
Novak to Miss Rest of Season
Novak has played in all 57 games and has 41 points (11 goals, 30 assists) since joining the Gophers last year.
Lettieri's Hat Trick Leads `U' to Sweep
The Gophers have now won six-straight games (tying the school record in the Big Ten era) and eight of the last nine contests.